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Linda Chapin: The Early Years

I always thought of myself as a Florida girl. Even though we lived in Little Rock and Kankakee and St. Louis and Connecticut and Detroit, during all those years the only place that was stable was here, in Orlando. My grandfather was in the auto business and after he lost his job at the Hudson Motor Car Company in Detroit during the Great Depression, he came to Florida. First to Pensacola and then to Jacksonville, where I was born, and then to Orlando. New frontiers. Wherever I was living with my parents, I’d come down here for summer vacations and the Christmas holidays. In the midst of moving and change I put down roots in Orlando… 

Read more about the Early Years by the Honorable Linda Chapin.

Linda Chapin: The Early Years

The Honorable Linda Chapin served as the first elected Mayor of Orange County, Florida, from 1990-1998. Her accomplishments in public office include the construction of the nation’s second-largest convention center, a new Orange County Courthouse, the Orange County Regional History Center, fifteen new parks and recreational trails, and the purchase of over twelve thousand acres of environmentally sensitive lands. In 1999 Ms. Chapin was named Distinguished Alumni of the Year by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2001 she founded the University of Central Florida Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies. She is the first woman honored with the James B. Greene Economic Development Award from the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission which she received in 2004. Ms. Chapin was the first woman and the first layperson appointed to the Judicial Nominating Commission. Linda W. Chapin is the recipient of the 2008 Women Who Mean Business Legacy Award. The Honorable Chapin served as Orange County Commissioner prior to serving as Orange County Mayor and served two terms as Chairman of the Board for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Ms. Chapin also served as the Chairman and Director of Orlando Regional Healthcare Board. The Honorable Linda Chapin currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts as well as numerous civic and community boards.

We also invite you to listen to her two part oral history interview Part I and Part II.

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